Financial Fast Day 1 of 21: How did I prepare for the fast?

Once I read the guidelines for the financial fast, I knew I need to preplan. I couldn’t be sporadic about my meals or go into emotional spending. I couldn’t do emotional eating either. So I actually laid out a plan to be successful during the fast.

I reviewed my schedule for any special events, business trips or holidays.  I would have to take. There was only one business trip I would have to book using my corporate credit card during the fast.  I was determined it will be the ONLY instance a credit card would be used.

Special Events – One of my nieces had a birthday party during the financial fast. Luckily for me, I had purchased a comforter on clearance a couple of months prior. Originally, this was going to be a Christmas gift but oh well. I was hoping my niece wouldn’t ask for me to take her to Longhorn a birthday dinner. She didn’t so DISASTER averted.

Meals – I developed a meal plan. First I took inventory of the food I already had at home. I then made a simple and easy to follow meal plan:

Entrée Side/Snack
Salmon Shrimp Stir Fry Kale, Bananas Celery, Tomatoes
Meatloaf Chicken Soup Blueberry Tart Blueberries
Tuna Muffins Chili Cauliflower Rice Carrots, Pineapple
Stuffed Zucchini Chicken & Apple Sausage Zucchini Bread Cauliflower, Spinach
Chicken Salad Tacos Cheesy Zucchini Rice Sweet Potatoes
Hard boiled Eggs Omelet Muffin Coconut Cupcake Garlic, White Potatoes
Hamburgers Chicken Fajita Soup One Ingredient Ice Cream Cheese, Cucumbers
Quiche w/ Grd Turkey Salisbury Steak Sunflower Seeds Oranges, Watermelon
Pork chops Sweet Potato Pancakes Grapes,  Brussel Sprouts Almonds, Walnuts

I utilized Pinterest to find new recipes with items I had on hand. Example is the one ingredient ice cream. It is just a frozen banana put into a food processor or blender until it reaches a smooth ice cream like texture. I added frozen fruit, flavored egg whites and whey protein powder to create different flavors.

Entertainment – the internet has great FREE entertainment and of course CBS has the Young and the Restless available online. I as have Hulu and Amazon Prime along with read books and the gym to occupy my time. I did some self-development activities and started building my own blog.

Boredom – I did have a couple of ideas of how to cure my boredom. My boredom activities included cleaning, organizing, blogging, looking for a mastermind group and driving around my new neighborhood.

Most of the planned activities worked for me during the financial fast.

Your Clarity leads to Cashflow

What Is A Financial Fast & Why I did it for 21 Days?

In my quest to be DEBT FREE, I was introduced to the Financial Fast. The one I was introduced to was based on Michelle Singletary’s book, “The 21 Day Financial Fast.” While it is a Christian based fast, you can do the fast with eliminating the Christian focus. But do the fast as you see fit for you and your faith. However, stay within the basic frame work I have identified later in the blog.

Why do a financial fast? I wanted to see where I could save MORE money that I had already identified in my budget. I knew I was staying in budget and that I could be saving MORE money. The financial fast limited my ability to spend money,  so that I could see the ABUNDANCE I had in my home and to use what I already had instead of spending more money.

During the 21-day Financial Fast, I was supposed to essentially go “Cold Turkey” on all nonessential purchases. I will let you know over the next 21 days how it went for me.

During the fast:

  • I could not use Credit Cards/Debit Cards. This is a “Cash Only Fast”. I was supposed to take out a certain amount of cash at the start. The rule of thumb is $200. However, this cash is to ONLY BE USED ON NECESSITIES.
  • No restaurant meals. No fast food meals. No purchasing breakfast or lunch at work. No stopping for coffee. I prepared all of our meals, including lunch. I found a huge portion of my savings in this very area.
  • No Mall Shopping, retail stores, online shopping. Window shopping is off-limits. When you window shop, you’re more likely to run out and make impulse purchases at the conclusion of the fast. This is discouraged. The goal is to try to institute a total lifestyle change.
  • No spending on entertainment. Don’t go to the movie, or do anything which will result in your spending money. Find things to do that are free of charge.
  • Bills are still permitted to be paid electronically online, however, this is an opportunity to use the budget provided to the group to determine which expenses could be cut out and saved.
  • Gift cards couldn’t be used to buy items that I don’t need.

Does this seem difficult? Any type of change is! For a better financial future, I was willing to do this fast for ONLY 21 days. I was happy and astounded by the findings. Follow me for the next 21 days as I discuss the challenges, failures and SUCCESSES of my 21 day Financial Fast.

Growth Comes when you step out of your comfort zone